Why’d the US Issue a Sanctions Waiver for Chabahar?

Many observers are wondering why the US issued a sanctions waiver for the Indian-built port of Chabahar in southeastern Iran and the railroad project that’s supposed to one day extend from it to Afghanistan, but the reason is that America sees this curious “Lead From Behind” arrangement as one of its last chances to retain …

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Assessing Imran Khan’s Historic Visit to China

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has just concluded his five day visit to China which saw him hold meetings with top Chinese officials including President Xi Jinping in Beijing before flying to Shanghai where Xi, Imran and other world leaders opened the first China International Import Expo (CIIE). While Imran’s visit was one characterised by …

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Under the Pakistani Volcano

It has been a breathless week, huddled in the shadow of the simmering, bubbling, politico-religious volcano that is Imran Khan’s Pakistan. And this week’s multi-faceted developments may just signal seismic shifts in Pakistan’s internal and external relations for the foreseeable future. Before moving on to bloodier matters, let’s start with the “Mr. Khan Goes to …

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The Asian Parliamentary Assembly Meeting in Gwadar was Good News for CPEC

It was a very prudent move for Pakistan to have Gwadar host this year’s Asian Parliamentary Assembly instead of any other of the country’s cities because Islamabad showed off the progress that’s been made thus far on CPEC, encouraged its fellow institutional members to feel like they have a stake in its future success, and …

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This Is What Can be Accomplished During Imran Khan’s Visit to China

Later this week, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan will take his first official visit to China. As Pakistan’s neighbour and most important all-weather ally, the visit is of incomparable importance as Pakistan stands on the verge of fulfilling the next stages of inspiring new projects throughout the country, many of which have been jointly initiated …

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The Russian-Pakistani $10 Billion Pipeline Will Promote Eurasian Integration

Russia and Pakistan signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) late last month to carry out a feasibility study for prospectively building a $10 billion undersea gas pipeline that Moscow hopes will eventually connect Iran, Pakistan, and India. The megaproject was first floated last November during President Putin’s visit to Tehran at the time, and the …

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Pakistan Must Defend CPEC in Any Potential IMF Deal

The IMF tightens the vice  Decades of domestic mismanagement in respect of the Pakistani economy appears to have forced Islamabad back to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a new bailout to stop Pakistan’s current account deficit from causing a major economic crisis. While Prime Minister Imran Khan recently stated that he will approach three …

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Remodelling the Belt and Road: Pakistan Picks Up the Torch

Pakistan, following in the footsteps of Malaysia and Myanmar, is the latest country to balk at the China and infrastructure focus of Beijing’s Belt and Road-related investments. Preparing for his first visit to China as Pakistan’s prime minister, Imran Khan is insisting that the focus of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a US$60 billion …

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Pakistani Poker: Playing Saudi Arabia Against China

Desperate for funding to fend off a financial crisis fuelled in part by mounting debt to China, Pakistan is playing a complicated game of poker that could hand Saudi Arabia a strategic victory in its bitter feud with Iran at the People’s Republic’s expense. The Pakistani moves threaten a key leg of the USD60 billion …

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